Today is the second time in several months that I tried to look up an old friend only to find an obituary where an exciting, ongoing life should be.
This time my friend was younger than me, and passed away two years ago this summer.
I’m saddened and shocked. So young. I don’t know what happened, or how, but I can’t imagine any scenario that isn’t horribly tragic.
Of course, I say “friend” but the truth is that I absolutely suck at keeping in touch with people. It’s not much of a friendship if I’m not even aware of somebody’s passing until a few years later. We hadn’t been in touch for years. And now, I guess, it suddenly feels disrespectful, or disingenuous, to say “friend”.
But what do you call somebody who used to give you a ride home in the rain? Somebody who was among the first to welcome you back to town after you moved away and came back a few years later? I guess I don’t know.
Life is short. I’m starting to appreciate that. And it’s so important to keep abreast of the lives that mean something to us, and to let the people we care about know how we feel.
And maybe be a little better about staying in touch with my farflung group of friends.
But at the same time I think I’m also going to stop Googling old friends and acquaintances. I hate what I find.